Ontario is wrong to claw back child support payments for those who receive social assistance.
The Toronto Star, Dec 24 2015, by Desmond Cole
The year-round challenge of surviving poverty is especially rough for those who celebrate Christmas. We seem to intuitively get this, and many of us donate more food, clothing, toys and money during the holiday season. A Toronto woman whom Iâ€™ll call Sarah got the equivalent of a lump of coal in her stocking this week â€” her welfare worker called to say she owes the government money because her ex-husband has fallen behind on his child support payments.
Like all Ontarians on social assistance, Sarah doesnâ€™t see a dime of the child support payments her ex owes her. The province claws the money back, and ensures that Sarah and her 8-year-old daughter only receive what a single woman on welfare is entitled to under its punitive system. Since welfare learned that Sarahâ€™s husband was paying less support than he owes, the government will now deduct the difference in her future payments. Merry Christmas. More..
Truth and Reconciliation Commission said in its final report that â€˜corporal punishment is a relic of a discredited past and has no place in Canadian schools or homesâ€™
OTTAWA The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest national newspaper, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, by Gloria Galloway
In promising to enact all of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the federal Liberals have agreed to remove a section of law that allows parents to spank their kids without fear of prosecution.
Groups that oppose corporal punishment of children have spent many years urging successive governments in Ottawa to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code that permits parents and teachers to use reasonable force to correct the behaviour of youngsters in their care.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which heard thousands of tales of physical abuse inside Indian residential schools, said in its final report that â€œcorporal punishment is a relic of a discredited past and has no place in Canadian schools or homes.â€ The repeal of Section 43 was No. 6 on a list of 94 â€œcalls to actionâ€ included in the report, which was made public last week.
When asked if Prime Minister Justin Trudeauâ€™s promise to act on every TRC recommendation meant repealing the so-called spanking law, a spokesman for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould would only say the government remains committed to implementing all of the commissionâ€™s calls to action.
In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that physical force was acceptable within certain bounds â€“ it cannot be used on children under the age of 2, it cannot involve implements such as a paddle or a belt and blows to a childâ€™s head are not allowed. Teachers and faith-based groups praised the decision, saying the people who are responsible for raising children must have the leeway to decide when moderate physical discipline is required. More..
Toronto Star newspaper headline (front page)-
Toronto Star website
A black community group in Peel recommends mandatory collection and sharing of race-based data on Ontario kids in care.
The Toronto Star, By: Jim Rankin, Feature reporter, Sandro Contenta News, Wed Dec 09 2015
The Ontario government should make it mandatory for all childrenâ€™s aid societies to collect and make public race-based data on kids in their care.
The recommendation â€” along with a call for an African-Canadian society to support Toronto-area black families â€” is included in a position paper by the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) of Peel. It will be released Wednesday morning at a Brampton conference of Peel community leaders and childrenâ€™s aid society officials.
â€œThe collection and dissemination of that data is critical to be able to assess whether the kinds of services that we have available are effective, to hold some of these agencies accountable for the kinds of services they are delivering,â€ Dr. Julian Hasford, the paperâ€™s author and a community psychologist, said in an interview.
â€œI donâ€™t think that weâ€™re going to be able to make informed and effective decisions with respect to system change without that information.â€
The group also wants the Peel Childrenâ€™s Aid Society to follow the lead of the Childrenâ€™s Aid Society of Toronto and report publicly on the proportion of children in care â€” and the number of families involved with the society â€” who are black. More..
December 4, 2015
Liberals under pressure to fix Ontarioâ€™s child protection system
( above is headline The Toronto Star newspaper website )
website version - In more than half of child abuse investigations reviewed by auditor general Bonnie Lysykâ€™s office, the childrenâ€™s aid societies failed to make mandatory checks of the Ontario Child Abuse Register.
Child protection system needs urgent fix: AG
( above is headline The Toronto Star newspaper, page A4 )
newspaper version- Aid societies failed to check Ontario Child Abuse Register, leaving some kids at 'risk'
The Toronto Star, Friday Dec. 4 , 2015, by Sandro Content, staff reporter and Jim Rankin Feature reporter,
The Ontario government is under pressure to fix a child protection system criticized by the auditor general for putting some children in â€œserious risk.â€
In her report, Bonnie Lysyk describes a child protection system riddled with problems, from badly conducted abuse investigations to a floundering Ministry of Children and Youth Services that fails to oversee Ontarioâ€™s privately run childrenâ€™s aid societies.
At stake are the lives of 15,625 children who, on average, were in foster or group-home care in 2014-15, and the well-being of thousands more investigated for possible abuse.
In more than half of child abuse investigations reviewed by Lysykâ€™s office, the childrenâ€™s aid societies failed to make mandatory checks of the Ontario Child Abuse Register. The register would note if caregivers had a history of abuse.
â€œFailure to conduct these crucial history checks puts children in serious risk of being placed or left in the care of individuals with a history of abusing children,â€ Lysykâ€™s report states. More..
Andre Marin says system has improved but 'over $200,000 not going to needy parents'
The Canadian Press, July 28, 2015
Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin took aim at the Family Responsibility Office and the justice system in his annual report that came out Tuesday.
The Ontario agency responsible for enforcing court-ordered child and spousal support payments has been singled out again by the ombudsman because of a growing number of complaints.
There were 1,167 complaints about the Family Responsibility Office in 2014-15, a slight increase over the previous year but up considerably from 794 complaints two years ago, ombudsman Andre Marin said in his annual report Tuesday. More..
The incident at gunpoint was one in a series in the country where women have been implicated, but that police are reluctant to investigate. In some cases the attackers are said to be seeking male sperm.
The Toronto Star, by Stephanie Findlay, Special to the Star, Published website on Thu May 7, 2015 - Published newspaper Saturday, May 9, 2015
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA â€” A South African man was raped by three women for his semen this week, the latest incident in a series of attacks that has seen groups of women sexually assaulting men in the country.
A 33-year-old man said he was held at gunpoint by the women on Tuesday. He alleges he was forced into a black BMW, given a drink that caused an erection, and then raped near the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. The women put his semen in a cooler box before leaving him in an open field and driving away.
â€œThey pointed at him with a firearm directly, a shotgun,â€ said constable Mncedi Mbombo. â€œThey gave him something to drink, then they left him after they got the sperm.â€ More...
Auditor General of Ontario
80% of Telephone calls don't get answered
Payers and recipients do not have direct access to their assigned enforcement services officer
"There is only limited access to enforcement staff because many calls to the Office do not get through or are terminated before they can be answered."
"The Office is reviewing and working on only about 20% to 25% of its total cases in any given year."
"At the end of our audit in April 2010, there were approximately 91,000 bring-forward notes outstanding, each of which is supposed to trigger specific action on a case within one month. The status of almost one-third of the outstanding bring-forward notes was â€œopen,â€ indicating either that the notes had been read but not acted upon, or that they had not been read at all, meaning that the underlying nature and urgency of the issues that led to these notes in the first place was not known. In addition, many of the notes were between one and two years old."
"For ongoing cases, the Office took almost four months from the time the case went into arrears before taking its first enforcement action. For newly registered cases that went straight into arrears, the delay was seven months from the time the court order was issued."